I learned a good word the other day: toxic.
I’ve always struggled to fit in… like always. As a kid, I don?t think I noticed much, but I did learn later that due to my attitude and behaviour, I had very few friends.
Around 12 years old, just before I turned into a teen, I started to notice my lack.
By then, all the cliques had already formed and it was too late for me to join one. No one wanted me, and I had no one to blame but myself. Perhaps I was the one who was toxic.
In high school, I had a boyfriend. He was toxic. Together, we were pretty toxic.
We were a horrible couple, but he was my first (ahem, second) real boyfriend and we lasted almost seven years together. I had him so I didn?t need friends, thus, I didn?t have friends? although I didn?t really notice the lack.
Not until those seven years ended anyway.
Toxic is a Keeper
Throughout my years in university, I made two true friends. One was my roommate.
We don?t talk anymore, but I have nothing but kind things to say about her. She was a lovely person inside and out, and I imagine she?s the same today.
The other, I met in one of my many part time jobs. She is, to this day, my very best friend.
I survived through some more very toxic years during and after university as I tried to find my place in the world and make up for the lack I suffered for the 18+ previous years. My best friend remained by my side, the one true non-toxic friend I had.
What I learned as I talked with another true friend very recently: toxic people will always be in our lives.
I’m in my thirties now and still coming across these people as I try to fit in and find my place.
Yes, you heard that correctly.
To all my young readers out there, when they tell you it gets easier, it does. But life doesn?t change as much as you think it will between high school and ?real life adulthood.?
My son has a class of friends. He?s in senior kindergarten and loves everyone equally.
I’d like to be that mother who organizes playdates for him outside of school, but I need to be there? and the other mothers need to be there too. That?s our prerogative as mothers of young children.
Well, to organize a playdate for boys means that I need to be friendly with the parents of other boys. I try. I’m awkward at times, but I still try.
Some of the mothers are pleasant in return, but still, the playdates don?t happen.
Some of the mothers don?t even try to be pleasant. Perhaps I’ve been prejudged and disliked immediately for no real reason.
It makes me wonder how much have I really changed since being an adolescent with no friends? Back then it was my fault. Is it still?
Who’s the Real Toxic One?
When your child is not invited to a birthday party of one of his closest friends at school, it has to be your fault. Doesn?t it? That mother does not want to see me, so she doesn?t invite my child.
That?s unfair to both boys but it is what it is.
It?s a very difficult thing for me to get past. I want the best for my child, and I want him to be able to have a fun life filled with friends. It seems that I might be the one holding him back.
My very good friend explained that this other mother is toxic.
My friend watched as this other mother walked by, rolled her eyes, and continued on like I was something less than human. It was my friend that explained that I am better off.
Because people like her tend to influence people around them, and if I fit in that crowd, I, too, would become toxic.
I’m still trying to digest this. All I see is a woman who doesn?t like me and so my child suffers. This woman might be toxic to me, but by default that makes me toxic to my son.
How can I fix this? How can I get past this?